Best travel destinations for art lovers

Have you ever gazed longingly at a beautiful painting of a breath-taking place and wished you could step into the picture and be transported to that very location?

There are destinations all over the world that have inspired artwork, and equally, there are a number of galleries, shows and events that showcase a variety of works.

So if you are an artistic type and fancy having an art-inspired holiday, here are some of our top suggestions.

Inspirational destinations

Impressionist painter Claude Monet produced over 200 paintings of water lilies, and his inspiration for these beautiful works was his own picturesque garden in Giverny, France. Today, hundreds of visitors come to experience the tranquillity, colour and unique light of this destination and to see the surroundings which had such a big impact on the artist.

Only 45 minutes from Paris by train, you could combine a city break in Paris with a trip to Monet’s home. And the ‘City of Light’ will let you further indulge your interest in art as it is home to world-famous galleries such as the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay.

Portlligat on the Costa Brava in Spain was the subject of many of Salvador Dali’s paintings because, like Monet, he took his inspiration from the area in which he lived. Visiting this popular holiday spot would allow you to combine a beach break with a visit to the Portlligat House Museum which showcases many objects and mementoes of Dali and allows you to see the landscape which had such a big impact on his work.

For an art destination with a twist, why not head to Miami? Here you can admire the impressive art deco architecture on Ocean Drive, as well as visit the Wynwood Arts District, Design District and Wynwood Walls which showcases murals on the sides of old warehouses and buildings.

Many Miami neighbourhoods host monthly art walks, and Coral Gables, Coconut Grove, Bird Road Arts District and Little Havana all put on vibrant gallery nights which include live music, food and drink.

Galleries of the greats

Stunning Florence, renowned as being the ‘cradle of the renaissance’, is completely immersed in art and culture at every turn. The famous Uffizi Gallery and Accademia Gallery hold a huge collection of renaissance work by great artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Giotto. Pre-book your tickets online before you visit to ensure you avoid long queues.

For a totally different type of art, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pennsylvania, USA, contains a huge collection of the artist’s paintings, sculptures and prints. It also has around 4,000 photographs, 60 feature films and more than 4,000 videos. During the month of March, between 5pm and 10pm admission is free, and there is also a bar and DJ playing funk, punk, reggae and rock.

Bilbao in Spain is home to the fascinating Guggenheim Museum and even the design of the building is unique and innovative. With its huge curved walls, it has a glass curtain wall connecting the inside to the outside and is built from a variety of materials including glass and titanium. It specialises in modern art and has some important avant-garde works. A trip here would also allow you to spend time in the beautiful Basque region.

On your own doorstep

Closer to home, the UK has its fair share of art for fans to indulge in. The capital, for example, houses the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, the National Portrait Gallery and the Tate Modern.

The Baltic in Newcastle is another great location for art lovers to visit. As a contemporary art centre, it houses huge installations, four galleries and interesting shows, and claims to be the largest gallery of its type in the world.

For works by Banksy, head to Bristol where you will able to see some of the artist’s most famous works on the sides of buildings, while the Lowry in Manchester showcases a number of paintings and drawings by the artist, as well as providing theatre and gallery space.

Get involved in an event

Every second year, Liverpool is host to the Liverpool Biennial, the largest international contemporary art festival in the UK. This year it runs from July 5 to October 26. The city hosts a number of dynamic art projects, with works placed in unusual public spaces as well as in museums, galleries and cultural venues. A list of all the events can be found on its website.

Or head to Berlin to experience the 32nd  ‘Long Night of Museums’, one of the city’s cultural highlights. More than 100 museums open their doors after hours to offer tours, films, lectures, music and activities, and a shuttle bus will be running to transport visitors between venues. This year the event takes place on May 17.

Finally, Art Basel claims to stage ‘the world’s premier modern and contemporary art shows’ and is held every year in Basel, Miami Beach and Hong Kong. It pulls in some of the world’s premier gallerists and collectors and showcases works from world-class artists.


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